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Campaign trail: A Medina with a racing track

Daily roundup of news from the campaign trail.



daily roundup of headlines made by the candidates, running mates and their surrogates on the campaign trail.

September 15

  • Don’t create unrest: Ibu (Avas)
  • Don’t create disturbances on voting day, we won’t give that opportunity: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • Warm welcome for Ibu in Gaafaru (Vnews)
  • We will reclaim land on Gaafaru and Dhiffushi to award plots: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • Many pledges for Gaafaru along with land reclamation (Raajje)
  • The Maldives doesn’t have a democratic government: Ibu (Vnews)
  • MVR18 billion is an amount that could establish basic services: Ibu (Vnews)
  • We get income enough to provide the basic services the public wants: Ibu (Vnews)
  • I will govern without bias: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • We are out for a national purpose, not a political one: Ibu (Vnews)
  • Ibu’s congratulation to the team, our hearts are overcome with joy! (Avas)
  • Ibu’s praise for national team, hope is rekindled (Raajje)
  • Naifaru to Ibu: you are “gold” to us (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu’s special thanks to people of Faadhippolhu: you gave me this opportunity (VFP)
  • With the golden trophy, both candidates revealed sports policy (Avas)
  • Ibu’s sports policy revealed with promise of historic changes (Raajje)
  • Ibu pledges to create sports councillors (Mihaaru)
  • Allied parties come out to explain policies to the public! (Raajje)
  • Distribution of booklet with coalition policies begins (Vnews)
  • Website launched with Ibu’s pledges in one place (Avas)
  • President Yameen is lying, MVR1.1 billion wasn’t spent on Fuvahmulah: Ali Shah (Raajje)
  • MVR1.1 billion worth of projects carried out in Fuvahmulah can’t be seen: Ali Shah (Mihaaru)
  • Former CP Areef and whole family’s support for Ibu (Avas)
  • 37 civil servants in Dhuvafaru decide to support Ibu (Raajje)
  • The gratitude of many people to employees in Gaafaru who came out without hesitation to support Ibu (Raajje)
  • The experience Ibu lacks is corruption and depravity: Wadde (Raajje)
  • There is no other ruler in the Maldives apart from President Yameen who is building his own house to 17 storeys while in power: Inthi (Raajje)

Opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ continued his tour of the central atolls with a rally in Lhaviyani Naifaru after visiting islands in the northern Malé and Ari atolls. On Naifaru, he spent nearly an hour shaking hands with supporters who lined up to greet the veteran lawmaker who represented Lhaviyani atoll for 15 years.

In the wake of the Maldives national team’s victory in the SAFF Championship, Ibu used his speech to outline his sports policy. An audit of the available sporting infrastructure would be conducted within the first three months, he pledged, after which facilities would be established on every inhabited island. Each island would have a professional sports councillor to assist with exercising and sports activities.

Other pledges included sports arenas, two swimming pools in the Malé area, a national football league, international water sports tournaments, and financial assistance and healthcare for national team athletes.

“In my government, the gap in the allowance given to male and female players of national teams will be eliminated,” he vowed.

A website with the coalition manifesto and key policies was launched over the weekend.

In response to a Reporters Without Borders call to make three core pledges for press freedom, Ibu tweeted: “I pledge to open investigations into journalist Ahmed Rilwan’s disappearance, Yameen Rasheed’s murder, repeal the anti-defamation act and ensure press freedom.”

  • I will ensure 24-hour service from the STO pharmacy in Fuvahmulah City: president (PSM)
  • First lady arrives in L. Maavah (PSM)
  • Fuvahmulah the last destination of President Yameen’s campaign, mixed emotions (Mihaaru)
  • President to national team: play forward and create attacks (Avas)
  • President encourages national team to not despair and face the match with courage (PSM)
  • President’s congratulation to national team: this is a joy we haven’t experienced for ages (Avas)
  • Make the presidential election an opportunity to reach the loftiest heights of development: president (PSM)
  • A “medina” tied to the hopes of youth will be created along with housing in Vilimalé 2: president (Mihaaru)
  • An international-standard racing track will be established in the Maldives: president (PSM)
  • A racing track to be built in Vilimalé 2 with new facilities to be developed on Thamburudhoo for surfing (Mihaaru)
  • Certain that Hinnavaru support is for President Yameen: Nazim (Avas)
  • The rally showed that MDP is despairing in all of Lhaviyani atoll: Nazim (Mihaaru)
  • Opposition accused of influencing election with money (VFP)
  • Nihan’s question: does Adhaalath agree with the manifesto? (Avas)

President Abdulla Yameen returned to Malé after campaigning in the two southernmost atolls. Fuvahmulah was the last island he would be visiting for the campaign, he said. Referring to the defection of two ruling party lawmakers who represent Fuvahmulah constituencies, Yameen appealed for an “extraordinary” effort from campaigners on the populous island.

At a rally Saturday night in Vilimalé, an island suburb of the capital, Yameen described the new city he proposes to develop as a “total solution” for the housing shortage in the Greater Malé area as “a medina” for youth.

The Villimalé 2 project is an “integrated concept” that envisions an international transhipment port or “re-export trading port” with packing and warehouse facilities. The new commercial harbour would become a regional hub that would solve congestion of the Malé port, he added.

He pledged to connect the capital via a bridge to the industrial island Thilafushi, Gulhi Falhu and the 230 hectares of lagoon to be reclaimed for Vilimalé 2.

A racing track would also be developed in the new city, Yameen announced. The government needs to develop sporting infrastructure to allow Maldivian athletes to compete internationally, he said, pledging to develop surfing facilities in Thamburudhoo.

On the football team’s victory, Yameen said successes in sport unite the public despite intense political rivalry.

“For a certainty, when the Maldives national team comes back there won’t be a particular colour, there won’t be a particular ideology. We will all raise our hands to congratulate the Maldivian team. Sports in a sense doesn’t know political boundaries.”